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MIT publicly launches Campaign for Students

MIT is publicly launching its Campaign for Students today, with a goal of raising $500 million or more for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, curriculum innovation and student life. The campaign highlights MIT students' brilliance, creativity, drive and passion -- human factors that will power solutions to the world's most challenging problems.

"The Campaign for Students will help sustain the excellence of MIT's living and learning experience and increase our ability to attract and challenge the young innovators who will be crucial to this country's global competitiveness," said MIT President Susan Hockfield.

The campaign also addresses the dual strains of rising costs and declining federal support for students in higher education. Approximately 17 percent of MIT undergraduates come from families with incomes below $45,000, and about 90 percent of undergraduates receive aid in some form, with 60 percent receiving scholarship aid from MIT. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked MIT as one of the top five most economically diverse universities in America.

"The Campaign for Students will greatly enhance our ability to offer an MIT education to the most qualified students regardless of their families' ability to pay," Hockfield said.

Recently, MIT increased financial aid to cover tuition and fees for a larger fraction of students. Under the new plan, families earning less than $75,000 a year will have all tuition covered.

Edward Linde '62 and his wife Joyce announced today that the Linde Family Foundation will make a $25 million gift, one of the largest pledges to undergraduate financial aid in the Institute's history. The Linde Family Foundation supports educational opportunities, particularly in the areas of mathematics and science, and the arts. The foundation has benefited MIT students in the past by supporting graduate students in various departments who are members of the prestigious Society of Presidential Fellows program, as well as students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering who are also members of that program.

"The trustees of the Linde Family Foundation believe very deeply in MIT's dual policy of need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid," said Edward Linde. "We want to help worthy students receive the rigorous educational experience MIT offers producing leaders in math, science, engineering and business who will, quite literally, change the world."

The quiet phase of the Campaign for Students, which began in December 2006, has already raised more than half of the $500 million goal. Major supporters of the campaign during the quiet phase have included Rebecca and Arthur Samberg '62; Virginia and Richard Simmons '53; Sophia and Bernard Gordon '48, SM '49; Pamela and Arunas Chesonis '84; Joan and Irwin M. Jacobs '57, ScD '59; and Muriel and Norman B. Leventhal '38.

Friday's launch is bringing hundreds of MIT supporters to campus for a full day of symposia highlighting the accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate students for whom scholarships and fellowships have been crucial. A reception and dinner will cap the day's events.

Chancellor Phillip L. Clay PhD '75 leads the campaign, working closely with Vice President for Resource Development Jeffery L. Newton and Director of the Campaign for Students Philip Murphy.

Campaign co-chairs are Lawrence Fish, Thomas Gerrity, '63, SM '64, PhD '70; Mark Gorenberg '76; Martin Tang SM '72; and Barrie Zesiger HM.

Institute leaders for the campaign are Dean for Student Life Costantino "Chris" Colombo; Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel Hastings, SM '78, PhD '80; Associate Provost Philip Khoury HM '08; Vice Chancellor and Dean for Graduate Education Steven Lerman '72, SM '73, PhD '75.

The Campaign for Students will conclude in 2011, to coincide with celebration of the 150th anniversary of MIT's founding.

For more information about the Campaign for Students, visit

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 8, 2008 (download PDF).

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